Sarah Showalter grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is the eldest of four children. She attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where she received a BS in Art Education with a minor in Art History. After graduation, she accepted a position working for the Department of Defense Education Activity teaching US military children overseas. During this time she travelled to countries all over Asia including: China, Japan, Cambodia, South Korea and Vietnam. While living and teaching in South Korea she made a trip to China with her future co-author Alice Camille. It was there that they developed the idea that would eventually become, “Animals of the Bible from A-Z.” She worked on the book in the evenings after she returned home from her teaching job.
After completing the book, Sarah pursued a Master's Degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies from the University of Missouri. She was awarded the degree in May 2008. She then returned to the United States to marry her college sweetheart Toygar Ayla.